(One month earlier….)
Ruddy Jimmy Olsen rolled over and looked at the untouched pillow next to him. Mixed emotions—sorrow, fear, despair, anger—washed through him as his hand brushed across the crisp, clean pillowcase. This was so wrong! The cloth should have been crumpled and creased by the weight of his lover’s head; but it had been more than five months since he’d last seen that beautiful man lying beside him… the sleeping face rarely at peace, even in his dreams—no reprieve from the responsibilities of being the world’s renowned, impossible Superman.
“Kal,” he whispered to the vacant, undented pillow, “where are you, Kal?”
He left the bed and crossed the room to the window which looked down onto the dark Atlantic. This guesthouse formed part of the seawall at St. Ives in Cornwall, the same room in which he and Kal-El had spent their honeymoon less than a year before. The dark, churning water beneath a somber sky darkened his mood; but even as the feeling threatened to overwhelm him, his heart raced with the excitement that at long last, after so many months, there was the possibility of being reunited with his man. It had to be! It had to be true!
Though it could still be but a mere dream.
His thoughts turned to that glorious week they had spent together in that same room, leaving it only occasionally, briefly, to take a walk around the scenic Cornish town, visiting the quaint little pub by the pier, before returning to renew their love-making. Though Kal was the superbly, muscled and hugely mightier one… he always seemed to enjoy being undressed by his handsome young mate, shivering at the contact of those worshipping, adoring fingers and hands as they glided over his wondrously defined, powerful physique… before being masculinely tendered and caressed: mouth, palms, pecs, his massively enlarged member, defying normal description, instantly responding and erect at his beloved’s skillful touch and nearness. Jimmy naturally, inherently inspired, and soon, ever-learning… pleasuring him with intoxicating adeptness.
(Remembering how even at their first strange encounter, an unplanned-for opportunity, how Kal had been the aggressor, unable to stop himself, in his desperate need to be joined to someone at last: another male, to take of, and give pleasure to—someone close—not just forcing himself onto them as a freak otherworldly alien. First, taking the overwhelmed Jimmy in his arms and mouth; then himself wilting at the surge of the younger man’s ardor, which grew surprisingly strong, after—daring to equally claim him as his own. And, at his also surprising insistence, allowing it!)
Thereafter, how strangely often, the superhero began falling into a passive submission to Jimmy’s assertive and enthusiastic assaults: as he ever grasped eagerly for, conquering the larger man easily by his burgeoning breasts, his enormously large and hormone-laden nipples… and fucking him under, nearly senseless. For the MOS, a glorious respite from the presumption of his being the expected one of ever-controlling dominance and leadership, so normally imposed on him as the invincible, “superior of all the world’s champions.” He could now slide freely, sensuously into acquiescence: yielding, pliable, tractable; matching the rhythms of his body to the unrestrained thrusting and lurching of his ardent, and adeptly well-hung, and very beautifully built young lover (though notably still less than his own largeness), until their passions gathered, tempos grew, rising, from slow and smooth, to faster and harder, climbing, ridging, peaking—and ever exploded together in a climax of ecstasy and wonderment. The huge, muscular hunk beneath him, howling, “Jimmy! Jimmy! JIMMY!!” Into a lulled and simple silence. Mighty arms crushing him close.
Both of them stunned and breathless.
Then, afterwards, sated, lying together in post-coital bliss, Jimmy with his head on the massive Kryptonian chest, the silken mat of Kal’s hair at his cheek, listening to the soft, soon quelling of his breath, and the so-much-slower-than-human heartbeat… which meant that his love, his life-mate, his man, was for a brief time at last in restful peace. And he had done it, given his beloved more than safety and joy. Making him feel almost other-worldly, himself. To have mastered the unmasterable of men—and made him completely his!
And then, his thoughts jumped backwards to that fatal evening barely six months ago—back to Metropolis, to their new condo apartment which they had bought and shared: Jimmy and his “housemate,” Clark Kent. The suddenly, apprehensive superhero had kissed him good night on their balcony, a Friday evening in mid-March, promising to be back before Monday. Jimmy guessed it meant a mission overseas, Europe or Africa given the timing—though distance and time were of little consequence for Superman. Jimmy could tell he was “sensing” something, but was unable to define it. But he had not returned the next day, nor any morning since. Instead, Jimmy had awakened late Sunday to a blood-red sky filled with turbulent clouds and dominated by an eerie and frightening presence: a crimson sun, broiling and angry. Their electricity was off. Television and radios silent. Sometimes the sky between yellowish green and amber.
His stomach had knotted immediately. The transformation of the sun from yellow to fiery red signalled a change to the underlying quantum states which, as Kal had explained to him (not entirely successfully), gave him invulnerability and godlike powers as a Kryptonian on Earth. He knew without a doubt that his man would be in direst peril if the change in the sun had occurred at some critical moment; and that even if that was not the case, he might be stranded on a remote side of the world, far from home and friends, vulnerable and powerless. Or, could have dropped in mid-flight over the ocean… plummeted out of control, unconscious, and likely drowned.
His disquiet had grown when repeated calls using the personal communicator Kal-El had given him went unanswered. At work following, at The Daily Planet, there was chaos as every member of the staff was overloaded with investigating and reporting on “The Great Solar Anomaly,” while simultaneously coping with the disruption to electronic communications.
Jimmy was able to cover Clark Kent’s absence by telling Perry White, their editor, that his “housemate” Clark had sped away urgently to Kansas, where his widowed mother would no doubt be struggling with the effects of the solar anomaly on the farm. In fact, Martha Kent’s anxieties were not for the farm but for her son, her distress clear to Jimmy when he visited her near the end of the first week of the sun’s transformation and Clark’s disappearance.
“We have to do something, Jimmy,” she insisted, as they stood on the farmhouse porch looking out over the still unplowed fields. “We have to find him. Surely the CIA or FBI would know where he was going. We have to find out, and then go looking. He needs us!”
“I know. I know, Mom. Leave it to me. I promise, I’ll leave no stone unturned. I’m going to find him, whatever it takes.” And she knew from the tears welling in his eyes, the strained tones of his voice, that nothing short of his own demise would stand between Jimmy and the search for her son. She knew they were indelible lovers, no question. With a token kiss on her cheek, he hopped into his silver Porsche—a shocking first-Christmas gift from Clark—and raced back to the city.
* * *
Perry White had, predictably, blown a fuse when Jimmy asked for indefinite leave in order to pursue the mystery of Superman’s disappearance.
“Why you, Jimmy? You’re a photo-journalist, not an investigative! And anyway, Lane is the one who covers our Superman stories. If I was releasing anyone, which I’m not, it would be her, not you! No, no way. With Kent hiding away, and this Great Solar Anomaly turning the world on its head, I need every man and woman I have, here, and on the job!”
“I talked to Lois, Chief, and it’s okay with her.”
And indeed, that was the truth. Lois was long since resigned to having lost out to Jimmy in the contest for Superman’s heart, and had assumed the role of best friend of the couple. She had known Jimmy since he came to work at the Planet as a cub reporter, and had witnessed firsthand his rapid growth into one of the most talented photo-journalists in the business. She also knew what few others did, that Jimmy’s friendship with herself and Superman, had seen him immerse himself into complex, dangerous investigations, displaying a courage and intelligence that would have amazed Perry had he known. Lois had noted ruefully that it was probably these attributes as much as his obvious physical appeal, and his often cloaked skills at mastering Taekwondo, that had fascinated and ultimately bedazzled the Man of Steel. She had absolute trust in Jimmy’s ability to find out what had happened to Kal-El/Clark, and see he was somehow returned to safety/functionality in Metropolis, if at all possible.
Then, there was the matter of Clark—who had also disappeared! Jimmy knowing, gave the lame excuse he’d heard Clark was going to resign, get a job with a paper closer to home, so he could take better care of his mom and the farm.
“Well,” flared editor White, “he damned better not call us for a reference! The world, in the middle of a catastrophe—and he wants to play good boy, and run home! Hell, with that!” Perry thumped the table, and glared at Jimmy. “And for your information, I run this paper, not Lois Lane! The answer is still, NO!”
But, in the end, he had relented. Perry knew the value of his best staff, and he had a strong sense that if pressed Jimmy would quit, too, rather than knuckle under. Though he fumed and yelled, there was no way Perry was going to voluntarily lose his most talented young photo-journalist. For some odd reason, Jimmy was clearly fixated on finding the missing superhero; Perry had never seen the young man so intense and determined. By the next morning, Jimmy was on open-ended special assignment with a small expense account, and instructed to post regularly on anything of interest from wherever his travels took him. It was agreed that the real reason for his floating commission would remain secret: he was merely scanning the landscape for recurring damages suspected from “the anomaly.”
He began his search by contacting his connections in the military and secret services, to see if there was any knowledge or clue to the nature and location of the assignment that had taken Superman away on that fatal night. Predictably, Lois’s father, General Sam Lane, showed little interest in finding “the alien.” He had always somewhat hated the creature.
“Good riddance!” was his final comment. A snappy bastard, unlike his doting daughter. Contacts in the FBI and CIA showed genuine concern, but said they could offer no useful information. Interpol also had no hard information, but one of their officers proposed a way forward. It was widely known that Superman had ferocious enemies in the highest echelons of international crime. Surveilling their world and its chief players might lead to clues as to Superman’s whereabouts—if perchance he was still alive. With no other lead to follow, Jimmy acceded to this advice and made up his mind that the best way to begin might be to focus on Superman’s most hateful, local, and dedicated enemy, Lex Luthor.
But tracking Lex Luthor was a difficult and dangerous business. Despite his high profile, the master criminal kept his movements and whereabouts confidential, appearing in public only when he wanted to be seen. When word filtered up to the senior levels of Luthor’s organization that some nosey newspaper guy was turning up in sensitive locations, fishing for information about “The Boss,” Jimmy joined a rarefied group of the “To Be Watched” —a list of designated/influential people and others, to be continually observed and monitored, and/or eliminated, if their behavior or curiosity should look ultimately threatening to Luthor or his endeavors. And thus, as so often the case, the hunter, unbeknownst to himself, became the prey. The name “Jimmy Olsen,” previously of little significance (a noted albeit minor employee of the Daily Planet: a kid of 26 with a camera), came to occupy a place in Lex Luthor’s consciousness. Now, he was a snoop with too much curiosity, a meddler, and a potential problem. Some American-Swedish vermin, as it were.
Weeks and months passed, and as suddenly and unexpectedly as it occurred, the Great Solar Anomaly disappeared and the sun and Earth returned to normal. Jimmy’s heart had raced, and his hopes skyrocketed when he saw a yellow sun once again shining in the sky. Surely, at any moment, he expected to see the famed blue and red figure streak through the sky towards him, land safely, and take him tightly in his arms. But days and weeks more passed, and his mood fell lower than ever. Kal must certainly be gone. If he had been briefly incapacitated, or held captive during the GSA, he would surely have escaped once things had returned to normal and his powers returned. Now, Jimmy had to face the emerging possibility he might not find his man alive; or at best, only hope for some answers, and the story of his likely demise…. But he steeled himself to press on; he owed it to Kal. And their love.
Some four months after his quest began, finally, a breakthrough came. Jimmy’s contact at Interpol had fed him what might be a key piece of information: Lex Luthor was flying to London to negotiate with his European counterpart, Don Lucio Lucifero, on the terms of a mutual diamond smuggling scheme from Africa. But critically, the messages Interpol had intercepted between the two organizations included a reference to “Il Grande Blu,” one of the known code words for Superman used by Lucifero. Jimmy’s heart leapt when he read the message. Was Kal still alive, being held by Luthor and Lucifero in some European location? He determined to follow the American master criminal to London. Again, Jimmy’s Interpol contact had choice information: Luthor would be staying incognito at a mansion in Kensington, supposedly the property of a Saudi prince.
Jimmy wasted no time flying to London, and within a few days had begun scouting the highly secure residence. His plan was to somehow infiltrate the building, apprehend/capture Luthor, and force him to divulge everything he knew about the whereabouts and fate of the world’s greatest superhero. But how really could he do that? Slip into his bedroom, kidnap the man, pump him full of Pentothal, squeeze out the information he needed? A bizarre plan, indeed. After all, he himself was no super James Bond. Whatever! Though confident of his black belt skills, this was going to be no picnic with royalty.
His first step was to reconnoiter and scrutinize the routines and security arrangements at the estate. If he could disrupt these in some way. he might be able to create an opportunity for access. Access was the initial problem and a major stumbling block. High-spiked railings surrounded the entire place, and the guards, heavily built men of middle-eastern appearance, stood at the main entrance at all times. After 36 hours of surveillance, Jimmy also noted glimpses of guards on the roof and at various windows of the four story building. Still, once inside—then what?
It was after 2 a.m. one foggy night, when Jimmy, standing behind an oak tree in the park opposite and mulling over his options, heard a sudden movement behind him. As he turned, he felt a heavy blow to his side and an arm grab him around the neck, then he was flung like a rag doll to the ground. Before he could respond or utter anything other than a pained grunt, there were two silent, black-clad bulky figures atop him, pinning, wrestling, pummelling, and attempting to strangle the breath out of him. Clearly these were Luthor’s thugs, and their intention seemed to be to incapacitate/capture, or murder the meddling young reporter. Struggling to keep his wits, Jimmy kicked and twisted against the unexpected assault, using every martial arts device he knew. He tried desperately to breathe, but his assailants were far more skilled, and he was soon completely overpowered. Fear gripped him as the one’s choke-hold tightened, then blackness encroached and he felt himself going.
Half-unconscious, he barely heard the soft “pop-pop” of the perfectly aimed pistol shots, which immediately dispatched Luthor’s two henchmen. He felt himself being dragged across the ground to the far side of the park, well away from the Luthor mansion. In the dappled light of the street lamps, he could see a firm, sturdy figure in black, face hidden by a balaclava, bending over him, lightly slapping his face to bring him around.
“Wha-? Who…?” he tried to focus, but the dark figure interrupted with a tone at once urgent and commanding.
“Listen, Olsen! If you hope to possibly see your super-friend again, you need do as I say. Capiche?” The voice was clearly British, rough with a hint of lower class.
“Take this envelope. Within are instructions, telling you what and where. Do it immediately, no questions. Time’s important; hold tight. I will meet you there soon as I can. Get your camera, but leave your hire car here. Don’t go back to your hotel. Luthor will be looking for you there. Go straight to Paddington Station; you can walk from here. Hide there until your train leaves. Now go!”
Jimmy wanted desperately to question the stranger, but the sense of authority in the voice, and the fact that he was clearly an ally compelled him to obey. Was he offering hope: “see his man, again?” Had he said Kal was alive?! No—only implied he might be. His heart leapt; his mind whirled. Was Kal alive? Could he at least see him?!
The masked man thrust a folded envelope into the front of Jimmy’s shirt, and pulled the young photographer to his feet. Jimmy could see only that he was of similar height and heavier build than himself, but any other details were disguised by the balaclava and the night.
“Go, lad, and be quick!” urged the figure as he firmly propelled Jimmy towards the street with a strong hand in the small of his back. With heart pounding, Jimmy obediently began to hurry along the quiet Kensington street. He glanced back over his shoulder. The figure stood there watching intently, feet astride, hands imperiously on his hips. The stance reminded him of Kal. Jimmy quickly found the Fiat rental, grabbed his camera, left the keys, and was gone. When he glanced back a second time from the corner at the end of the street, the stranger was nowhere to be seen.
Jimmy reached Paddington in less than fifteen minutes, and found a seat in a discrete location where he would not be immediately visible to any of Luthor’s assassins who might be pursuing him. Breathing rapidly, he pulled the envelope from his shirt and ripped it open. There was a thousand pounds in cash, a one way ticket to St Ives Station in Cornwall for the next train, and a confirmation printout for a booking at the Jewel of England guesthouse. Jimmy’s breath caught in his throat and every muscle froze. His eyes widened in disbelief; he was booked to stay at the very guesthouse where he and Kal had spent their honeymoon barely twelve months earlier!
His mind had raced and his heart pounded for the entirety of that railway journey to the southwest of England. And now, in the yawning early hours of the next morning, he found himself standing at the window of the same room he had occupied with his beloved Kryptonian partner, looking down into an overcast dark sea. His suitcase, passport and personal possessions from his London hotel were already in the room when he arrived. More than a mystery what was happening. The dark figure who had rescued him from death at the hands of Lex Luthor’s thugs had promised to meet him here soon. Anticipation of the meeting consumed Jimmy. Who was the ballsy intruder, and what news of Kal-El could he bring?
Nevertheless, mind aswirl, body exhausted, he ordered a pot of tea. Guzzled it with lemon and honey, chewed listlessly on a croissant… and fell into a disturbed sleep by the bay window.Next page